The National Hockey League slapped the New York Rangers with a $250,000 fine on Thursday following the team's furious criticism of the league's disciplinary unit earlier this week.
Announcing the sanction, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the Rangers strongly worded attack on Department of Player Safety chief George Parros on Tuesday had been "terribly unfair."
"Public comments of the nature issued by the Rangers that were personal in nature and demeaning of a league executive will not be tolerated," Bettman said in a statement.
"While we don't expect our clubs to agree with every decision rendered by the Department of Player Safety, the extent to which the Rangers expressed their disagreement was unacceptable.
"It is terribly unfair to question George Parros' professionalism and dedication to his role and the Department of Player Safety."
The fine is the latest twist to what has been a tumultuous week for the Rangers, who were eliminated from playoff contention on Monday after a defeat to the Washington Capitals marred by a mass brawl.
Rangers star Artemi Panarin was at the center of a flashpoint when Capitals forward Tom Wilson grabbed him by the hair and slammed him into the ice. Panarin was later ruled out for the remainder of the season with what the Rangers said was a lower body injury.
The team then vented angrily on Tuesday when Wilson escaped with only a $5,000 fine for his actions in the game, which the Rangers condemned as a "horrifying act of violence."
"We find it shocking that the NHL and their department of player safety failed to take the appropriate action and suspend (Wilson) indefinitely," the Rangers said in a statement, calling for Parros to be fired.
"We view this as a dereliction of duty by NHL head of player safety, George Parros, and believe he is unfit to continue in his current role."
On Wednesday, the Rangers fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton but it was not clear if the sackings were linked to the statement lambasting the NHL's player safety unit.
Later Wednesday, Rangers and Capitals players began brawling within seconds of the start of their rematch in another bruising game won 4-2 by Washington.